Tag Archives: freestyle

Guess Who’s Going to Jail Tonight

Guess who’s gettin’ Xed.

I fought with my host today—my workaway host—because I too aggressively stated my boundaries.

Guess who’s going to jail tonight?

Got’i’s own proverb so honesty i’my policy
Grunge on the mirror—spoke curtly—that’s my Nirvanity
—La Grangin wit Hermione, strawberry-based irony,
Drinking all the smoothie up, stem-cell lobotomy
Re-versal, Lee thermal, waistband full—Gar-FIELD—Nermal
Dem’s my two kitty-kats, the former one’s the bigger gat, Magnum R&Deagle strap, gold-leaf aristocat

(UHHH YEAH .50 CAL LASAGNA)
(UHH, ARRR-BUCKLED UP IN MY HONDA)

Strapped up in my Civic now, deuce-deuce rimfire kitten—MEOW!
Schizophrenic episode, relapsed into lobotomy, shittier than colostomy

regenerate the neural, layer of mater dura, covering the pre-‘fernal’,
Forcin through re-perrin’ the exitin of the stir stick tha’ad form’ally been inserted,
Through nasal pharyng’ial circuit, perferin

I set fires
Burnin up a dog in a heap—that’s a—that’s a pet pyre
See Rover died again after took a life from Kitty
Took it on a loan—Meow!Gimme collateral,
Gave a cat a bone.

One life from the kitty’s nine
Life was moving up his spine
Owed it back with interest, right
So he had no b’iness dyin

********************

So yes—I rap now.
-Dre

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My Top 9 Rap Lyrics

Friends,
This post has been a long time coming.  As something of a hip-hop fan I have latched onto many lyrics over the years which I feel neatly encapsulate my own experiences.  They don’t have to be standout lines, or famous rhymes, but they are the ones which make the listener feel like he and the artist are in on the same joke that nobody else gets.  Here are my proverbial inside jokes with a smattering of rappers.

***

“Aint no right or wrong in this game called survive”
Song: Keep Your Hands High ft. The Notorious B.I.G.
Arist: Tracey Lee

Tracey-Lee-black-enterprise

You might have missed this song when it came out.  More likely you are familiar with Jay-Z’s recycling of parts of it on his song “What More Can I Say?” from 2003’s The Black Album.  (Or, if you’re only the most casual of fans you likely heard T.I. sample from “What More Can I Say?” for his 2004 hit, “Bring ’em Out“)
In any event, the line dispels the notion of the duality of right & wrong, or more to the point, good and evil.  These qualities are powerful myths which serve as expedient yet detrimental explanations for human behaviour. They don’t paint a true picture of why people (criminals in this case) do things.  What Tray-Lee is really saying here is that people in the game don’t do dirt because they’re evil; they do it out of necessity.  All of that murder, exploitation, theft and corruption, it’s all a natural outgrowth of the struggle for survival.

***

“And God made dirt, so this dirt won’t hurt.”
Song: Shook Ones: Part One (by: Mobb Deep)
Artist: Prodigy

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Obviously this is closely related to the last entry but it deserves mention because of the almost throw-away manner in which it is uttered. It’s a blink-and-you-miss-it type line which bears more truth than perhaps any other part of the song.  It also addresses the fallacy that certain behaviours are “unnatural” in any absolute sense; all behaviours are reinforced by the environment which the organism creates for itself.  It’s like Omar says in The Wire, “All in the game, yo…”

***

“We all gon’ die, we bleed through similar veins.”
Song: Thug Luv (by: Bone Thugz n’ Harmony)
Artist: 2-Pac

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2-Pac really spells out the unity and sameness of all human beings here in spite of the fact that he seems to be making a threat.  Still, there is profound existential awareness in his imagery; we all do, in fact, bleed through similar veins and if this shared mortality and vulnerability can’t bring us together, then what can?

***

“Ran through what we scared of; what was we afraid for?
Song: Awnaw (by: Nappy Roots)
Artist: Big V

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I love this line because it is a an expression of that feeling you get after going through adversity. It’s like, everything you haven’t done yet seems scary and impossible, while everything you have done seems not only do-able, but rather common and passe.  When it comes to the plausibility and possibility of any given endeavour, the biggest factor in determining your confidence is whether you have already done it or not.  That’s it.  So go out and do things. Then, doing more things will only seem more do-able.

***

“See things how they are, and not how you like ’em to be”
Song: Mistakes
Artist: Immortal Technique

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Who among us hasn’t told themselves a comforting lie at some point in their lives. I’ve been awake for five hours and I have probably already told myself ten.  But Tech is saying that wish-thinking, delusion, and all other forms of self-deception will only keep you in the invisible prison of ego because you are actually only lying to protect your ego.  The true self doesn’t need comfort, it doesn’t bruise and it wants the truth that will make the ego writhe and squirm.  Feed the ‘self’ with truth, and starve the ego of lies.

***

“Can I walk a righteous path holding a beer?”
Song: Resurrection (Large Pro Remix)
Artist: Common

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This is a big one for me. After all, I know there are things/vices I shouldn’t be doing as they serve as barriers for personal growth…but they’re so much fun.  Nobody seems more aware of this than Common, who, at this point in his career, was also probably puffing a blunt and grabbing an ass.  But does that mean he’s a bad dude?  Some would say ‘yes.’  I would say again what I said earlier, that good and bad are just myths. Still, every time I cloud my ability to think with a chemical I can’t help but think that perhaps I am mistreating my biological hardware.

***

“What you eat don’t make me shit.”
Song: Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)
Artist: Jay-Z

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If you’ve ever worked in a job, a blue-collar one especially, you have probably had co-workers complain about how much/little work someone else is doing.  The irony is that their bitching is almost certainly taking up paid time that they should be using to work.  I get it if someone’s performance is directly making yours more difficult; definitely solve the problem at the lowest level possible without making too much of a stink about it.  However, live and let live; you don’t have to be the police for your co-workers, and by extension other human beings.  Don’t feel the need to expose someone who is getting to the same place you’re getting by taking a different route that isn’t hurting anyone. That’s hater bullshit.

***

“When I catch up to these fiends, Imma knock ’em on they ass.”
Song: Can I Live? II (by: Jay-Z)
Artist: Memphis Bleek

Memphis+Bleek

You gotta approach this world knowing (not thinking) that you’re already a star but that nobody knows it but you.  Bleek gets it, even if noone else does.  And while you could make the argument that he still hasn’t caught up with these “fiends” (read: mainstream superstardom) he is still certain that he would “knock them on their asses” (read: blow them away with his lyricism) if he did.  Prove him wrong!

***

“Too bad you couldn’t do good at marriage!”
Song: Renegades (by: Jay-Z)
Artist: Eminem

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Oh man, this song and this line specifically resonated with me like crazy when I was a teenager.  It seemed like my parents were only too willing to point out my shortcomings and failings when they were fucking up left, right and center.  Eminem cut through this bullshit in a way that struck a chord with white, teenage boys in step-families in the early 2000’s; we knew things were fucked up and that the idyllic veneer of perfection and tranquility that coated our suburban world was simply that, a veneer.  We saw the cracks, the flaws, the violence, and the fights behind closed doors, and then the smiles which were plastered over faces when there was company over.  We knew the truth and Em let us know we weren’t alone.

Best,
-Andre Guantanamo

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You Gotta Swim Before You Can Crawl

My Friends,

   In attempting to re-integrate back into N. American life and ultimately get back to where I was at (or beyond) prior to leaving, I am paying especial attention to my fitness.  It started with wanting to get back down to the weight I was at before I left, but my intention is now to incorporate exercises I typically do not do and see where it takes me on the scale instead.  And not just any exercises; where possible, I want to perform exclusively exercises which mimic natural movements.  I have alluded to this desire previously (“Tenderfooting,” 30 August 2011) when I started training barefoot, but I really want to run with it now.  Call it the primal lifestyle if you will, although that implies a change in diet as well, and I am not looking to completely overhaul what I eat.  For the time being, its all about the exercise.
   Now when it comes to strength-training and muscle-building, doing it like a caveman seems easy enough; lift rocks, climb shit, bash your woman over the head with a weighted club, etc.  Cardio training, for me at least, is a little more problematic.  
   “Why don’t you ride your bike,” you ask?  Well, come winter I only really use my bike for commuting as you never know what condition the trails (where I do my bike cardio) will be in.  And while a muddy, slurry of dirt and melted snow might make for awesome and challenging terrain, I must weigh this potential benefit against the reality of being stranded out in the cold, kilometres away from help if I have any bike breakdown or malfunction.
Or if, ya know, a rock falls on me

   “Why don’t you go for a run,” you ask?  Well, this is what kind of got me into primal exercise mode in the first place; all the running I was doing over the last year with conventional trainers was giving me chronic ankle & foot pain and I was looking to do a conversion to barefoot running.  The problem for me now is that its January and fucking cold.  
   “Why don’t you use the Vibram 5-Finger shoes you’ve been dick-riding hard for the past few months to run ‘barefoot’ in the winter,” you ask?  A good question, and I will have to look into a new pair (the pair I used for going around the world may still be athletes foot infected and they are also a trekking model more than a running model) of those once I start wage-slavery again and have money to spend on shoes.  
   For the time being however I decided that if I wanted a lean “swimmer’s physique,” why not swim (cavemen swam, right?).  I have heard only good things about swimming as exercise but I have always been too lazy to actually bring trunks to the gym and then carry my wet gear back with me.  On top of that, I always just viewed swimming as leisure; I go to the beach or a friend’s pool, float around some, get hammered and that’s it, and its been that way since I was a kid.  But now, with my desire to adopt primal exercises more completely into my lifestyle, I was forced to take another look at swimming as the only viable way to get cardio-training for the time being (it was either swimming or intercourse).
   Today was my first day at the pool and not long after entering the pool I realized with some alarm that I don’t really know how to swim.  Sure I can fake it for a length, but when I start to get winded, any technique I might be aping falls apart, my speed in the water (such as it is) tapers off, and I am sort of left kicking haphazardly in the water trying to stay afloat.  The problem I realized was fundamentals; essentially, I have none.  I don’t know how to stroke, I don’t know how to breathe, I didn’t even know the direction of traffic flow in the pool.
   Still, I toughed it out for half an hour (it might have only been 20 minutes, but it felt long) and I think I completed only 8 full lengths of the pool, with breaks at every end and more than one break mid-length.  While changing, I asked this dude who had been out there and was obviously more experienced than me (goggles, no boardshorts) how to breathe during freestyle stroke.  He said exhale while your face is in the water instead of trying to both exhale and inhale during the brief moment my face comes out of the water every third stroke.  That may seem like a small thing but the implications are mind-boggling; I now await my next trip to the pool eagerly, wanting to employ my new secret weapon: breathing.
   Now I’d be a fool to think that my breathing is the only area I can improve.  ‘Til my rematch with the water I plan on seeing if there are any vids on basic swimming on youtube kind of like I did when I was taking up parkour.  Armed with the experience and wisdom of others plus my own stubbornness I figure it’ll be like a week before I’m Michael Phelpsing out there.
“HYAH! And monkeys might fly out my butt!”
Stay Thirsty,
Andre Guantanamo

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